Stand Up Comedy

Recently a friend of mine asked me why do stand up comedy now? “Surely Dil you have enough to do?” My immediate response was – “Because its fun and it’s great for my mental health!”

The idea of stand up was planted in my head when in passing I mentioned it to David McSavage last January on Global Village. (To hear full interview go to http://media.newstalk.ie/podcast/23101/popup) His response was ”you should try it as you would be good at it!” Then Steve Cummins, a good friend of mine, offered to be my Comedy Guru and the rest is history. So now my career has taken a new turn!

The real reason I have decided to go into stand up is because humour is a very powerful medium for challenging attitudes and prejudices in a non-confrontational way. My routine involves various topics such as Gay Marriage, Irish identity, Naturalisation and even Labiaplasty! One thing for sure as a gay migrant woman and now a naturalized Irish citizen who was brought up by Jehovahs Witnesses its going to be a while before I run out of material! So hopefully you might come see me in the future having a bit of craic with issues I often speak of so seriously in my day job!

Next gig is… 14 May at 7pm in Accents – home of Irelands Alcohol Free Comedy club hosted and organized by me!

Media

Watch YouTube footage from the first gig here

Watch YouTube footage from December gig with Paddy Cullivan here

Listen to Newstalk’s Henry McKeans report on Moncrieff here

Read my article in the Irish Examiner here

TheJournal.ie Top Trend in 2012 – Alcohol Free Comedy Club here

Next gig is… 14th May 7pm!

How it all started!

I recently came across a fabulous venue, Accents, a cozy coffee & tea lounge which stays open till 11pm on most nights. It’s located on Stephen Street Lower, just beside the Newstalk station on Digges Lane. Every Saturday afternoon, my routine is to stop by Accents before I go into the station to prepare for my weekly show, Global Village. I treat myself to a Chai Mango Latte, one of the many reminiscent symbols of the Celtic Tiger era no doubt!

From the start I was impressed with its atmosphere as it is really a place you would curl up with a book or with a friend and spend hours drinking hot frothy cups of hot chocolate. I thought to myself finally an alternative to the pub!

Then on one of my numerous chats with the owner Anna Young, whilst she was preparing my order, she told me how she wanted to give something back to her customers in the form of entertainment. I suggested to her the idea of holding a comedy night and so the concept of Ireland’s first alternative alcohol-free comedy club was born… and for once it was not over an alcoholic drink but a Chai Mango Latte!

In addition to being Ireland’s first alcohol-free comedy club we hope to showcase the true diversity of new talent that often does not feature on the main stages. So not only are we going to help change the Irish drink culture but we are also going to break down barriers through humour – which incidentally was the reason why I got into comedy in the first place!

The first gig in September was a roaring success as the venue was packed to the rafters.

What does a Lesbian, a Traveller, a Kenyan, a Mauritian, a Nigerian and a Ballymun guy have in common?

The Journey of a Joke!

I started doing stand up comedy exactly a year ago. Soon after I started I was asked to feature in a four part documentary. I was delighted with the opportunity as part of the process involved attending workshops with experienced stand up comedians that would help me understand the basics such as what makes a joke funny or what delivery style suited me? The nicest element of the project was that I got a chance to meet four other budding comedians from a diverse range of ethnicities and backgrounds. The project involved months of workshops and interviews and tracked our individual progress which culminated in a live show.

Grab a bowl of popcorn and follow the journey of 5 diverse comedians… watch how initial sparks fly when 5 worlds collide but see how ultimately they learn to overcome their differences and become friends thanks to the power of comedy!

Episode 1 & 2 are below and the remaining two will be posted on soon as they are aired.

Enjoy and don’t forget to let me know what you think!!!

Episide 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Don’t forget you can see me in action every first Monday of the month in Accent on Stephen Stree Lower 7-9pm as I host Ireland’s only Alcohol-Free Comedy Club!

See below further information of  The Journey of Joke as taken from their website:

The Integration Centre and DCTV have joined forces to create a four part documentary series which follows aspiring comedians from minority backgrounds as they attempt to use their experiences to make Irish audiences laugh.

Humour is one of the primary methods used in getting to know new people. Sharing a joke and having a laugh with someone serves as an ice-breaker, and immediately helps us to feel more comfortable.

The question this series hopes to answer is whether or not the same is true for immigrants living in Ireland. Would you find a Chinese man sitting in a pub, laughing at Irish jokes? Does humour transcend culture, or are the things we find funny shaped by where we come from?

Under the guidance of Ballymun-based comedian, Dean Scurry, five candidates are being put through their paces with a series of comedy workshops and events, as they work towards performing their own stand-up show, with their own original material. The series goes backstage to discover the backgrounds that the candidates come from, how this affects their humour and if or how they might use their own unique experiences as part of their routines.

The candidates are Newstalk broadcaster and activist Dil Wickremasinghe, an Irish citizen of Sri Lankan origin; Tabitha Ruigu, a Kenyan gospel singer who grew up in Clondalkin; Sacha Pakkiri, an osteopath with Mauritian heritage; Fabu D from Nigeria; and Thomas McDonagh, a member of the travelling community who lives in Finglas.

They have already taken part in a number of workshops and have been working hard on their routines. The end of the series will see them performing to an audience of family and friends, and hopefully send them on their way to comedic stardom.

Director Claire Dix said “Journey of a Joke is about integration but it examines this complex issue by looking at something simple and common to every culture, how we make each other laugh and what makes a good joke. Humour is one of the best ways to make new friends but what do you do when your sense of humour is at odds with
the new culture you’ve had to integrate into?”

“Our aim is to make a funny and insightful series that will introduce the viewers to Dublin’s newest stand up comedians and help to further the discussion on integration”.